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The two reactions to Greta Thunberg

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The two reactions to Greta Thunberg

16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg spoke before the United Nations today at the 2019 Climate Action Summit. Her passionate plea for action and condemnation of capitalism has been widely shared on social media and the hot takes have been as opposite as reactions can possibly be. There may be many perspectives about the nuances of her speech, the scientific claims she makes, or the general topic of climate change itself, but there are only really two camps on how to view Thunberg herself.

These camps were broken down nicely by Princeton Professor Robert P. George:

George’s assertion is playing out perfectly on social media as the heated debates about Thunberg as a person, a child, and an activist seem to head in one direction or the other. Climate change activists are enthroning her as the hope their movement needs. She;s the new child-leader who represents a generation that has the most at stake since many activists will be gone while Thunberg is left “fighting the good fight.” Climate change skeptics see a girl who is being used by people as a political prop, a well-spoken and likable pawn to help them push their radical agenda.

The ironic part is both perspectives are currently correct. Thunberg really is the near-future of the climate change movement, and being enthroned creates a self-fulfilling prophecy in which she will lead because the people are desperate to follow her. Simultaneously, her ascension to this level of reverence is a sad testament against the religious zealotry of the climate change movement that seems to have found the artificially inflated messiah they’ve been seeking.

Here’s the video of Thunberg’s speech:

Here are some responses from both sides of the aisle:

Climate change activists have the superhero they’ve always wanted and skeptics have further proof of the indoctrination of children into a radical ideology. Greta Thunberg is effectively proving everyone’s point for them.

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